Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Damages: Patty Hewes knows all your secrets

Yes! There has been a mystery solved on Damages! Have you been wondering why Ellen will be wearing underwear under a trench coat when she finds David dead? Did it keep you awake at night? You can sleep soundly now, my friend; the explanation is that her clothes get stained with blood from the fight in Patty's apartment, so she takes them off. Thanks, Damages! So that's one down, what, forty-seven to go?

(You know the rule: don't read if you don't want to know.)

With one mystery put to bed, another one immediately cropped up in its place: Patty Hewes' omniscience. How did she know about Gregory's stock sale and the job offer Tom extended to Ellen, when none of them told anyone about it? Spy satellites? Robot surveillance pigeons? Hypnosis? And how does she have time for surveillance with everything else she has to do, like try a case, figure out TiVo, and mess with people's minds?

It's a wonder that she even found time for negotiations with her son this week. Michael, still at reform school and looking eerily like Piz, intended to play some mind games of his own with Patty when she came to pick him up, telling her that he didn't want to go. Patty, approaching parenthood the way she approaches everything else, as a case to be won, consequently drew up emancipation papers and offered them for him to sign. Michael wasn't stupid enough to call her bluff, and backed down and came home. But it wasn't all mental chess games and maneuvering; there was a newfound understanding between Patty and Michael by the end of the episode, and they passed a few moments together in peaceful harmony. It was one of those scenes that remind you that Patty does have a heart – it's just really, really tiny.

Good thing we have those scenes to keep her grounded and human, because the rest of the time, Patty sees all and controls all. Even the way she served Gregory with his subpoena was a devious bit of theater: Gregory got served with the woman he bumped into trying to escape the creepy-looking (but ultimately harmless) guy following him. But after Fiske released Gregory from his protection and Gregory fell into the custody of Patty and her bodyguard, there was a development she didn't foresee, and I don't blame her. Who would have thought that Gregory would have been able to overpower his huge bodyguard and escape? Especially when the guy had been hanging out in a hotel room eating snacks and watching daytime TV for some time? That's a combination that would leave anyone soft. At any rate, Gregory must be sitting on some huge testimony (or, at least, he'd better be), because, as eager as Gregory is not to be deposed, the Frobisher camp is more eager to kill him to keep him from deposing.

Also this week, Patty, possibly to amuse herself, played with the trust between Ellen and Tom, asking Ellen if Tom gave her a job offer a few weeks ago. Tom and I both agreed that if Patty's asking, it means she already knows, but Ellen lied anyway and then had a crisis of conscience about it. Should she tell Patty the truth? What if Tom told Patty? To whom should Ellen be loyal? In the end, Ellen made a pact with Tom that they could always trust each other, and I'll let you guess just how quickly it was broken. Yep, Tom confessed about the job offer. You know, in at least one way, Tom is more intriguing than any other character. Unlike every other duplicitous person on Damages, Tom tends to be an easygoing Boy Scout type, which just makes his double-dealings all the more dirty.

In our jaunt to the Future this week, Ellen and Tom reiterated (will reiterate?) that loyalty to each other, and Ellen begged Tom to find the missing Patty. While Tom claimed to have no idea where she was, of course he called her up straightaway. And to her credit, Ellen will have gotten a clue by then; she told Nye to follow Tom, as he'll lead them to Patty. After weeks of just crumbs, it was great to have some really meaty developments in the Future storyline. For the first time, I want to know what happens next to Future Ellen, not what came before. Damages has really turned the game around on that front, and now I can start to see what a second season would be like.

1 comments:

Bruce said...

Completely agree that they finally gave the future of the show life. I did enjoy the episode even missing Arthur himself. They have also done a good job making Fisk a someone interesting character in his own right without the one on ones with Ted. A very fun "summer" show.